Idle Eye 101 : The Kid

Don’t know about you, but recently I’ve been getting a little fed up with the definite article thing I put at the head of every post. It was a convention I found amusing in 2011 when I was still young and naive, but now it seems trite, formulaic and restrictive. And you, dear reader, have always deserved more than that. Of course you have. So I had thought I might kick out the jams to make way for a more vibrant, exciting thrust which would send long overdue shockwaves through this post-centenarian blog. Kill your idols. Slash and burn. Tomorrow belongs to me. You know the drill. But then Time put down its fag and tapped me on the shoulder:

Time:  What exactly do you think you’re doing?

Me:  I’m making a few ch-ch-changes.

Time:  Given it some thought, have you?

Me:  Indeed I have. Things have gotten trite, formulaic and restrictive around here so I’m rockin’ up the house a little. My people are getting bored, man. Bored with me, bored with the way I put ‘the’ into every single bloody header and bored with all the little tricks I use to keep them reading. Even these two-way conversations are getting on their tits. And I don’t want to lose them.

Time:  Understood. But I think you’ll find that familiarity with any given protocol is more likely to harness your readership than the shock of the new. Trust me, I’ve been around the block a few times.

Me:  And look where it got you! Bet you never said that to Marcel Duchamp. Or e.e.cummings. Or Kid Jensen. Or…

Time:  Kid Jensen?

Me:  Dave ‘The Kid’ Jensen. From the 70s.

Time:  Ah yes! Didn’t he leave his well-received 4.30-7pm slot on Radio One for pastures new in 1980? And then drop ‘The Kid’ when he returned in 1981?

Me:  Technically, yes. But as a much-loved radio personality, that absence was keenly felt by his listeners and consequently he found it hard to shake off the moniker in subsequent years.

Time:  Let me get this straight. You’re saying that Dave ‘The Kid’ Jensen developed a persona over a period of time that made him incredibly popular. And then, when he binned it in a misguided attempt to stay fashionable, his loyal fans refused to let go of the very thing that had elevated him to stardom in the first place?

Me:  Something like that, yeah.

Time:  Interesting. Ring any bells?

Me:  No. Look, what’s any of this got to do with my blog?

Time:  Nothing at all. Except it’s ‘The Kid’, right?

Me:  Not ‘The Kid’ Jensen, no. It was either Dave ‘The Kid’ Jensen or Kid Jensen. Or just David Jensen afterwards. But no-one really gave a shit by then.

Time:  Why? Because dropping ‘The Kid’ and trying out new stuff put them off?

Me:  Yes.

Time:  I see. Sorry to bother you.

Me:  Thanks for coming in.

Idle Eye 4 : The Rebuff

I’m sitting in the soon to be opened Moroccan Room in Idle Hour Barons Court, waiting for Nibs to show up and deliver his verdict on IE4, a witty yet savage take on the perils of middle age. It’s a blinder, of course, and I’m expecting voluminous gratitude and hopefully a free pint of Harveys. All around me are tasteful hints that I am in a better world, where I can relax after work with my friends/business colleagues on a pastel pouf or two, sipping on a tension-busting cocktail or two and let the evening wind itself down slowly to its Tangiers-inspired conclusion. Nibs, however, is late. Not that late, but late enough for me to be side-tracked by my admittedly fabulous imagination:

I’m snuggled up over there, on the crimson sofa beneath the clock, with someone you’ve just read about in the Metro who earns more than you do. She caresses my face gently and throws back her hair in a devil-may-care stylee. And she actually thinks I’m really funny: That’s why she’s laughing, see? Then, slowly, but quite deliberately, she…

‘Alright Bro?’ Balls! It’s Nibs. Blasting away at the cobwebs of my fantasies just like he used to in our shared bedroom in Godalming.

‘Ahem. Nice one, Bro.’ I deliberate on the correct level of small talk required before I can fish for compliments but he goes in for the kill before I have a chance to get my house in order.

‘It’s the blog, Bro. Big no no. Sorry, man, don’t think we can use it. Way off base.’

Way off base? I have to counter with something but I’m reeling from the patois. Does he think I work for Radio 1? Or worse still Channel 5? I decide to appeal to his sense of reason by going for the artistic integrity approach, something he knows little about and therefore will give me the upper hand:

‘I know where you’re coming from, Bro. It’s just, well, I think we have to allow our character to have a bit of breathing space outside the pub, no? Otherwise we get stuck in a product placement kind of thing.’ I’m thinking Harrison Ford in Witness, reluctantly reciting ‘Honey, that’s great cawfee’ and inadvertently launching a host of vulgar imitators.

‘Yeah, I know. But I need you to big up the Moroccan room. The punters don’t want to know about you getting old and fat. And anyway, I don’t get it.’

His beard twinkles in the rooms’ candlelit glow (ideal, incidentally, for Christmas parties and functions) and I realise this boy isn’t quite the pushover he was when I made him jump off the roof with an Action Man parachute in Marbella. And it occurs to me contractually that this soft, sumptuous space, with its metallic fire surround, original 50s portraits and subtly decadent aura would lend itself perfectly to any sophisticated West London get-together. But I don’t tell him that.